Wednesday, February 28, 2018

945. Beulah Sam - My first book

My first book is out. It is a short story I published it on Juggernaut Books. It is available as a free download now.

Click this link - to download and read.

Reading time: 10 minutes

Pages: 20 

Special mention: My friend Bragadeesh Prasanna who edited the book and my friend Anton Naveen who designed the book cover.

- Chronicwriter

Monday, February 19, 2018

944. Corn flakes - The rich man's food of the nineties

When I was in school, Kellogg's Cornflakes entered the Indian market. For South Indians like me who were accustomed to the idlis, dosa, puttus, idiyappams and the dreaded uppumaas, Cornflakes came in as a blessing in disguise.

It was the rich man's breakfast of the 90s. If you walk up to a store and ask for a box of corn flakes, everyone around you will turn around and notice you. Immediately you will be considered a multimillionaire in your neighborhood.

I never had the chance to taste cornflakes in my entire school life, because we were from an upper-middle-class family. Cornflakes separated the rich fro the middle-class families.

When I entered College, my rich friend Dinesh brought with him a box of cornflakes. We would all flock to him in the mornings to see him eat Cornflakes. Except him, the rest of us would have the dreaded uppuma from college canteen. Sometimes he would feel sorry for us and give us all, one flake each. We would bite them and look at him with a sense of gratitude.

Days went by and Cornflakes started coming in different flavors. Soon everyone in India became a software engineer irrespective of the course they studied in college. My colleague Ramesh is a software developer. He has a Bachelors degree in economics. Another friend of mine Sheetal is a software tester. She studied civil engineering during college days.

The irony is that my friend Arun who got out of IIT with a bachelors degree in computer science is now running a dosa shop. What I am trying to imply here is the fact that because of the advent of software engineering in India, almost everyone can afford a box of cornflakes.

Take a closer look at the above picture. Do you want to eat corn flakes now? 


Sunday, February 18, 2018

943. I was Captain Haddock or Tintin

When I was in class five, I had a habit of sleeping under the bed with Tintin comics. The book " The Red Sea Sharks" was my favorite because it was the only Tintin book I had.

My folks inculcated reading habit in me at a very young age. Tinkle, Archie comics, Enid Blyton series, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys were a part of my childhood.

Tintin was my favorite of them all because I loved Captain Haddock's curses "Ten thousand thundering typhoons and Billions of Bilious blue barnacles". I added his curses in my vocabulary and used it with my friends. None of them understood them.

On weekends, I would use my dad's black shoe polish and draw a beard on my face and become Captain Haddock. When my dad hid his shoe polish, I had no other option but attempt a mohawk hairstyle and become Tintin himself.

My pet dog Bubbly would become Snowy and we will have great adventures in our home by climbing walls and trees only to receive constant complaints from neighbors.

No other book had the power to transport me to another world. But the  Belgian cartoonist Herge's artistic skills almost made me picture myself as one of the characters in the book.

I have never got bored reading that one book again and again. It reached a point where my parents would hide that book during exam time. Tintin, the reporter would investigate in different countries and the cartoonist Herge would transport the reader to that particular country with his detailed cartoons.

I have not touched this book in the last 15 years. But I know that this book will be on my bookshelf in my father's house. When I go to my hometown during the next vacation, I will once again, take this book out, smell the papers and relive my childhood days.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

942. My Valentine's day date with Renu (School day Romance)

I used to be a hunk when I was in high school. The girls in my class were crazy about me. They were particularly jealous of my then-girlfriend Renu.

She used to tell me that they always troubled her with sarcastic remarks. She even told that they used to scribble funny graffitis about me in the girls' restroom. I, being a 14-year-old teenager became curious and asked her what those lines were

Renu: "Chriz is a hunk" is one of those lines

Me: *Smiling to myself* Anything else? (I was expecting more praises)

Renu:  Minu even scribbled " Chriz comes in my dream every night"

Me: She looks cute

I got a punch on my face

Renu: Look! If you talk like this, I won't be your date this valentines day

Me: Sorry sweetheart! Anything else about me on the restroom wall?

Renu: Shilpa wrote "Amazing arms! That fellow Chriz has."

Me: Does she like my muscles?

Renu: I think so. How do I look?

And she started to blink her eyes.

Me: You look like a doll

Renu: Don't lie. Sandhya had scribbled "Renu is indeed lucky to have Chriz."

That made me go to cloud 9. I walked around the school campus with my head held high.Valentine's day was just around the corner and I was planning to celebrate it big time with Renu.

On 13th February 1996, Renu came running to me and said that the girls had written something bad about me in the girls’ toilet. After much pestering, she told me what they had written about me.

“Chriz wets his bed in his sleep”. 

I did not take it seriously because I had gone through insults that were worse than this. I carried on with my studies like a perfect gentleman that day.

The very next day, the school management dragged me out of the class for interrogation. I was told that they found something scribbled on the walls of the girls' toilet that read,

“No! I do not wet my bed in my sleep”.

Now, do you guys doubt me too?

Note: Renu did not celebrate Valentine's day with me that year as I spent my time kneeling down outside the Principal's office.


Friday, February 09, 2018

941. I was thrashed because I loved Renuka Sahane

When I was 10 years old, I started developing a crush on Renuka Sahane of Surabhi Fame. Surabhi was a lovely program which was telecasted in Doordarshan in the early nineties. I used to wait for every Sunday to watch this program. 

During those days robbers used a new strategy of using small kids to steal valuables from houses. Seeing my ever increasing habit of staying up late to watch Surabhi, my parents came up with a new rule at home. 

The new rule shattered my love into bits and pieces as the rule did not permit me to stay awake after 9.30 pm. I was banished to my room every night after 9.30 pm. So I missed my favorite programs - "world this week, Oshin, Byomkesh Bakshi and of course Surabhi”. 

But my love for Renuka would often make me sneak into the drawing room where I would hide behind the French window curtains and watch Surabhi. On one such occasion, my dad happened to see my leg under the curtains. 

He took me for a robber. Being a brave man unlike me, he jumped from the couch like Tarzan and landed in front of the curtain, wrapped me around along with the curtain and what happened after that was pure disaster.

No one has ever thrashed me like that in my life. Maybe he too might have had a crush on Renuka.(My Mom reads my blogs too)


Thursday, February 08, 2018

940. Different ways to get pregnant

When I was in class 2, my classmate Arun told me that if a boy shook hands with a girl, she would become pregnant. I was so scared to shake hands with any girl in my class as I was not ready to father a child at such a tender age.

When I was in class 3, I discovered that a baby needs to be inside the mother’s tummy for a default period of nine to ten months. The discovery made a big impact in my liking towards biology at a later stage in my life.

I would rate this discovery as the discovery that revolutionized me. My discovery was disproved by my aunt’s son who did not have the patience to stay inside her tummy for more than 6 months.

They call him a premature baby. But I have doubts if she was already pregnant when she got married. But I am not gonna dig into the details.

But back then, when I was in that confused state, my girlfriend Renu took advantage of the situation and shook hands with me. I was so petrified for the next ten months that I would often check Renu’s tummy for any bulging effects. 

After ten months, her tummy did not bulge. I gave her two months grace period too and when she did not deliver a baby even after one whole year, I was convinced that shaking hands doesn’t help in the baby making process. 

One fateful day when I was just nine years old, my teacher Anu started throwing up when she was taking classes. When she was throwing up, one of her co-teachers came to lend her a helping hand. Later we were told that she was pregnant.

So I came to the conclusion that vomiting results in baby birth. But a few days later when I became Ill, I started to throw up too and I had a doubt that I might be pregnant.

It was a great mystery then. It was the most confusing topic for me.

But then when I was in class 8, we had this sex education classes in school and I enlightened myself with all the necessary information with my never-ending questions which often resulted in the teacher blushing in front of us.

- Chronicwriter

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

939. Bajaj Sunny and the girls who were crazy about me

I was doing my final year of Engineering (2002) when this photo was clicked. My dad bought this bike for my sister. But I was the one who used it most of the time. If you have used this bike, you can relate to this post. 

Bajaj Sunny was the elder sister of Scooty. She came into the market which was ruled by Kinetic Honda. When Bajaj Sunny came into the Indian market, all the girls who were riding a BSA SLR or LadyBird bicycle immediately upgraded themselves to this bike. My sister belonged to that category. It was purely a ladies bike.

It was nothing more than a bicycle with a motor attached to it. You could call it a hybrid version of a moped. With the speedometer having a max limit of 80 kmph, the Bajaj Sunny could reach supersonic speeds of 40 kmph. Whenever the needle hit 40 kmph, the handle will start to gyrate. The bike had a plastic body.

My parents had a policy of not giving me the bike till I got my license. However, the same rule was not applicable for my sister. Women had their way with things and they had their say in decisions at my house.

I would feel like Arnold from Terminator while riding this bike. I would visualise that the babes in our hometown were crazy about my riding skills. Every evening, I would wear a cooler (The one that I bought for Rs 20/- from Kanyakumari) and ride the bike. Stylenu nenachuttu Piles vandhavan maadhiri I will sit on the bike and ride. Not even a fly or crow would look at me.

My Dad was noticing my behaviour for some time. My sister, mom and dad secretly conspired against me and sold the bike without my knowledge. They knew how to nip my romantic thoughts in the bud.


Monday, February 05, 2018

938. A visit to Gell Memorial School Ooty where my mom studied

How does it feel to go back to your school after 50 years? When my sister came down to India in 2016, my mom decided to take us all to the place where she studied. Mom studied at Gell Memorial School in Ooty. So off we went to the school as a family. A proud grandmother with her three grandchildren walked into the school premises. In the above picture clicked by me, my mom had already overtaken all of us, scampering her way into the Principal's office.

I was worried in particular because the classes were going on and I was hoping that we should not be kicked out. We all followed her to the Principal's room and there she was sitting and talking with the Principal. The Principal gave too much of respect to my mom because of her age. If I go back to my school or college, I would be literally kicked out for the kind of behaviour I exhibited in my youth. 

A row of photos adorned the pink wall in the Principal's room. My mom proudly pointed at the two foreign ladies in the photos and said "That is Miss Mallalieu and Miss Kitchen. They are our God Mothers". In Mainline Christian denominations " God Parents" take care of the spiritual well being of children. My mom went into an Autograph Cheran mode.

Then we came out and my mom wanted me to click a picture right in front of the school assembly stage. Apparently, that is the exact place she used to stand and lead the school prayer it seems with her songs. She went on and on with her school day stories.

We were bored. But my mom was reminiscing her childhood days and we just wanted her to have fun. One day, I will take Anya to my school and show her around and she will write about it in her blog.


Saturday, February 03, 2018

937. The Great Wall of India

How would you feel if you are selected as a replacement for one of the finest left-handers of your time (Vinod Kambli) only to be labelled by the media as a slow cricketer lacking the flamboyance of the left-hander you replaced?

How would you feel when you score two magnificent hundreds in your very first world cup appearance but someone else gets the accolades on both occasions?

In his first world cup appearance (1999), he scored two hundreds against Kenya and SriLanka; but in both these matches, another cricketer took the honours. In the match against Kenya even though he scored 104, every one praised Sachin for the 140 runs he scored two days after his father's death.  In the match against SriLanka, he scored a brilliant 145. But Ganguly was the man of that match for his brilliant 183 in that match.

How would you feel when you have to become the wicketkeeper of the team and end up being criticised by the media because you are not a natural wicketkeeper?

How would you feel when you become the Captain of the Indian Cricket team but an idiotic coach (Greg Chappel) does not allow you take decisions?

How would you feel if even after playing for 16 years for the country, you always end up playing second fiddle to Tendulkar?

How would you feel when you eventually become a coach of the Indian Under 19 team and make them stronger in every department only for them to choke in the finals against a weak West Indian team in the finals?

Many would have called it quits. But this man still had faith in what he loved the most. He made sure that the boys won the 2018 U19 world cup, that too in style.

Take a bow! Rahul Dravid. You always stand tall. You are the cricketer we wanted, but not the one we deserved because we always took you for granted.

If 2011 World Cup win was dedicated for Sachin, the 2018 World Cup win is surely a dedication for the Great Wall of India - Rahul Dravid.

- Chronicwriter

Friday, February 02, 2018

936. How I stopped wetting my bed

My Sister and me

Today my friend's 10-year-old son posted a status message on Facebook stating that he was heartbroken because his girlfriend ditched him. 

At his age, I was still wetting my bed. My mom would ask me to carry the mattress to the rooftop and leave it there in the sunlight for it to dry. 

My neighbors would see me dragging the bed up the stairs and they would say " Hey Chriz, That is 100 days in a row".

My parents tried many ways to stop me from bed wetting. They stopped giving me water after 8 pm. But still, my bladder had the capacity to produce uric acid out of thin air. 

Then they kept alarm clock at 3 am and made me go to the loo to empty my bladder. Still, I would end up wetting my bed between 3 am and 6 am.

I would literally pray every night for strength not to wet my bed. But every night the bladder would win the battle of wits. 

One night I decided not to sleep to find the exact time the bedwetting process culminated. Around 4 am, I saw my sister walking towards me with a tumbler of water.

I acted as if I was sleeping. She poured it on my bed and went back to her bed and slept as if nothing happened.

Tears started flowing down my cheeks to realise that I had been a victim of soolchi done by my sister all these years. Out of sadness, I ended up wetting my bed that night.

The next day onwards, I told my parents that I won't sleep in my bed; but on the floor. Never ever did I wet my bed.

I am revealing this truth after many years. I hope that you all will not reveal this secret to anyone else.


(Note: Floor wetting cannot be included in bedwetting department)